Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 6:56 PM ET, 10/13/2010

Rhee's defeat: Sad but no surprise

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Sheri Singer
Arlington

One of the brightest lights the District has ever seen is out as D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee announced her resignation [“Rhee to resign as schools chancellor,” front page, Oct. 13]. Ms. Rhee was not only a hero to many D.C. public school students and teachers, she was also a beacon of long-waited light for the nation. As demonstrated in the documentary “Waiting for Superman,” Ms. Rhee really was a superman. She took on an archaic education system that doesn’t work and tried to make real and substantial changes. She failed. Is it a surprise? No. No one, not even those who make the cover of national magazines, can take on a monster bureaucratic system and win.

But despite this reality, it’s a sad day not only for the kids and teachers in the District, but for all Americans. What this says about us as a nation and as a community is that we are incapable of real change. Whether we are talking about education, finance, housing or politics, Americans seem mired in the muck of the status quo. It’s no surprise that we have a sluggish economy, housing foreclosures, a failing education system and innate distrust of our country’s leaders.

What happened in the District with Ms. Rhee mirrors what has happened throughout our nation, and that makes it a sad day for all of us.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | October 13, 2010; 6:56 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, schools  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Everyone puts on a happy face at the Rhee press conference
Next: David and Sam get married

Comments

Speaking for about 70% of the DC area, we'd say today is time for Rhee-joicing!

The reign of arguably the most destructive and racially divisive force in the history of DC politics, Michelle A. Rhee, has mercifully come to a close.

Join us in bidding a final good bye to Miss Rhee, her masking tape, her over-the-top self promotion, her razor thin resume, her racial comedy ("Lordy, Miss Rhee"), her pink slips, and ... her broom.

Washington Post, take the pledge: NO MORE EDITORIALS, ARTICLES, OPEDS, or BLOGS on the above mentioned Michelle A. Rhee.

By the way, what happened to the hundreds of offers for Rhee to run other school systems the Post kept bleating about? Newark, Atlanta, Detroit, et al. What's that? You made it all up, did you?
Oh.

Also, a major shout out to Mayor Vincent Gray whose now famous Come to Jesus meeting with Rhee that brought her to tears was no doubt a factor in her, er, "resignation." It's true. Strong men keep a comin'.

Finally, RHEE-lief for the District of Columbia. Whew.

The People

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 13, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

MICHELLE RHEE is a MENDACIOUS, MEGALOMANIAC FRAUD

(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: honestpolicy | October 13, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The real losers in the ousting of Michelle Rhee as the Chancellor of the DC School District are the children of the District. She tried her best to save the district and children from excessively paid teachers with no teaching skills but alas the powerful Teachers' unions and their quest for status- quo mediocrity wins. I was praying for a thousand Michelle Rhees who would come and save our schools and our children's futures and put our children once again at the head of the world. Well, our slide on the world educational scale is now assured, thanks to the unions and their clout.

Posted by: averghese | October 13, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Just the facts:
Shaw Middle School's scores did not even stay about the same. They went down -- reading scores declined from 38.52% in ’08 to 29.20% in ’09 and it’s math scores went from 33.33% to 29.02%. This can easily be verified at the official website http://nclb.osse.dc.gov. Did you not check? Did you just take Chancellor Rhee’s or Principal Brian Betts’ word on it? The fact that Shaw’s scores didn’t go up is a major embarrassment for Rhee. She installed a new principal, who hired a new staff, selected for being young and “unjaded” and he paid the kids for good behavior and attendance. It seems imperative that Rhee is asked to re-examine her determination to pursue this method and not gloss over an obvious failure with her ongoing pathological prevarication & misrepresentation of the facts.
(as per writer
"efavorite")
--------------------------------

Michelle is full of herself..... and facts show... Her scores went down ! The ironic part is watching Rhee loyalists twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize a 4% drop in D.C. elementary school test scores. Suddenly, the entire test-and-punish crowd is explaining to us how test scores don't mean anything and how test scores are tied much more to out-of-school conditions. The problem is that she has made rising standardized test scores a central measure for achievement -- hers, students and teachers, writes Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. So, feel free to judge Rhee on her insistence on placing so much importance on test scores (as have today’s other titans of education reform, such as Joel Klein in New York City). She believes they are so important, in fact, that she recently announced that she wants to expand their use in city schools, so that, in time, every D.C. student from kindergarten through high school is regularly assessed to measure academic progress and teacher effectiveness. But judging her reforms on the actual test scores, well, as my kids say, “Not so much.” -- Posted by Mike Klonsky

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

Posted by: honestpolicy | October 14, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Just the facts:
Shaw Middle School's scores did not even stay about the same. They went down -- reading scores declined from 38.52% in ’08 to 29.20% in ’09 and it’s math scores went from 33.33% to 29.02%. This can easily be verified at the official website http://nclb.osse.dc.gov. Did you not check? Did you just take Chancellor Rhee’s or Principal Brian Betts’ word on it? The fact that Shaw’s scores didn’t go up is a major embarrassment for Rhee. She installed a new principal, who hired a new staff, selected for being young and “unjaded” and he paid the kids for good behavior and attendance. It seems imperative that Rhee is asked to re-examine her determination to pursue this method and not gloss over an obvious failure with her ongoing pathological prevarication & misrepresentation of the facts.
(as per writer
"efavorite")
--------------------------------

Michelle is full of herself..... and facts show... Her scores went down ! The ironic part is watching Rhee loyalists twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize a 4% drop in D.C. elementary school test scores. Suddenly, the entire test-and-punish crowd is explaining to us how test scores don't mean anything and how test scores are tied much more to out-of-school conditions. The problem is that she has made rising standardized test scores a central measure for achievement -- hers, students and teachers, writes Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. So, feel free to judge Rhee on her insistence on placing so much importance on test scores (as have today’s other titans of education reform, such as Joel Klein in New York City). She believes they are so important, in fact, that she recently announced that she wants to expand their use in city schools, so that, in time, every D.C. student from kindergarten through high school is regularly assessed to measure academic progress and teacher effectiveness. But judging her reforms on the actual test scores, well, as my kids say, “Not so much.” -- Posted by Mike Klonsky

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

Posted by: honestpolicy | October 14, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Rhee-form and pseudo-education

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

Look at the data, rather than the
24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,
funded & produced by the Hedge Fund boyz,
Kaplan Testing corporation,
the edu-profiteers/financiers clique
& their incompetent spokesmodel rabid Rhee
– with her ludicrous lack of proven
teaching or administrative experience,
her lack of academic certification to be a superintendent,
her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures,
her lack of basic managerial skills,
her lack of team-building to implement goals,
her lack of community development
to facilitate progress,
her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential
communication insight,
and her abysmal lack of common sense.

——————————-

Posted by: honestpolicy | October 14, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

How Rhee's antics undermined my child's school

from 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: honestpolicy | October 14, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

The outright hostility shown from Gray and black parents is fueled by anti-Korean racism. Plain and simple. Rationalize it, intellectualize it any way you want. Pure anti-Korean racism.

Posted by: jckdoors | October 14, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

What IS it with people who think that Michelle Rhee was the ONLY person who could implement school reform?

Posted by: linroy62 | October 14, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm really getting sick of this mindless adoration of Rhee, as if she is the only person who can lead the DC school system. Whatever her qualities may be, she forgot rule #1: Don't get your boss fired!! Until she learns some political skills, her career as a "reformer" will be very short.

Posted by: PepperDr | October 14, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

linroy62 wrote:

"What IS it with people who think that Michelle Rhee was the ONLY person who could implement school reform?"

+++++++++++++++

You're so right. In fact, Kaya Henderson embodies pretty much the same positive momentum. 'Change Stew" is still on the stovetop, even if it now must be Rhee-heated.

It seems WTU bet on the wrong horse.

Posted by: confounded | October 15, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Why does it seem that those most upset about Rhee leaving are people who don't live in DC? Well, the answer is quite simple. Non-DC residents like Sheri Singer are not the ones that Rhee refused to involve or take into account when making decisions that affect their children.

I bet Singer would feel a lot different if she were the one being dissed by Rhee. Or if her elected representatives were being treated with the same disdain that Rhee (and Fenty) treated the D.C. City Council.

If Singer's child's school district was being led by a chancellor who not only didn't believe in collaboration and consensus building but actively fought it, I bet she'd feel much differently. Or at least she should.

Posted by: rglass23 | October 15, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse


Henderson hired the 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.

Kaya Henderson should also catch the same plane or train out of DC. Her resume indicates she has NO experience and does not have any unique skills or competences that would ensure a successful DCPS. There is NO evidence of Kaya Henderson being a “certified” teacher or “licensed” principal of a school. We must have an experienced and fully qualified leader with a proven track record of success.


We the parents have spoken and this Rhee’s experiment is over. Rhee had no future in DC and she was a liability to the future of our students and parents. DC needs a true educator that has actually walked in the shoes of a principal and a teacher. Education reform in DC deserves far better than the Michelle Rhee or Kaya Henderson model.

Posted by: hello101 | October 15, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company